Groups accepted with a minimum of 6 pax.
The western Algarve is a complete contrast to the eastern Algarve, and our walks throughout this tour offer a glorious mix of coastal, mountain and inland scenery.
Our walks show the different facets of this beautiful area and its diverse landscapes.
The Western Algarve has a varied geology that helps produce a rich diversity of scenery from granitic mountains to dramatic limestone escarpments and sea cliffs. This diversity is complemented by the local flora and fauna that flourish in the equable climate of mild, sunny winters and long, hot summers. All this, combined, makes walking here fascinating.
The walks in this tour take us to all the right places so that we may discover the huge welcoming heart of the Algarve.
We will walk along “classic” sections of the Algarve coast, perfect sandy beaches and rugged headlands with rock stacks and arches including the spectacular Ponta da Piedade, just outside Lagos.
We will visit Silves, one of the oldest towns in Portugal, built in a series of terraces between the river and the castle. First settled by Phoenician traders, their riverside colony grew to become a major Roman city, and then, from the 8th century it became the Moorish capital of the Algarve. Much of this magnificent town was badly damaged by the 1755 earthquake, but reminders of its powerful past can be seen in the sandstone walls of the impressive castle, which provides fantastic views from its battlements over the surrounding countryside.
From Silves we will enjoy a walk in the soft hills to the north of the town. Another day will be spent in the verdant hills around the small town of Monchique where we will have fine views over the surrounding hillsides. Carob and olives are cultivated on farms and small holdings, along with oranges and other citrus fruit, pomegranates, almonds and an abundance of other produce. We visit local villages where working life continues as it has for centuries.
We will continue our search for the hidden gems of the Western Algarve; a coastal walk will take us from the resort of Luz to Lagos with time to visit this pretty fishing town.
Heading back inland we will have a delightful walk through some typical Algarvian villages, allowing us to see the Algarve in its most rural form.
Finally we will head to the edge of Europe; we will walk in the Parque Natural da Costa Vicentina, the most south-westerly point of Europe where there is a chance to appreciate and most certainly view the abundant bird life on one of the most important migratory routes of spring and autumn.
Day 1 – Arrival
Fly to Faro and transfer by road to Portimão, taking approximately 60 minutes.
Day 2 – Estômbar and Silves Walk
This walk ends in Silves, the ancient capital of the Algarve with an iconic castle.
We start in the traditional Algarve village of Estombar. Along the valley of the river Arade we visit the Ecological Park of Fontes, an attractive local beauty spot. Here we find the largest limestone springs in the Algarve. At Sitio das Fontes visitors can see a water mill, learn more about the local flora and fauna while walking along an educational trail.
The route itself enables us to explore this river valley following quiet tracks and paths so we can appreciate the diverse habitats and wildlife.
Day 3 – Seven Valleys Walk
Today we offer a fantastic coastal walk taking in one of the most famous and dramatic sections of the Algarve coastline. Towering cliffs, sea caves and grottos, superb sandy coves and spectacular headlands including the much photographed Benagil domed caves lined with beautiful sandstone strata.
All this can be seen during this stunning walk to finish along Carvoeiro’s renowned elevated boardwalk.
Day 4 – Alvor and Praia da Rocha
Today we will transfer to our next centre of Lagos. Today we have a full programme with a fantastic coastal walk taking in the superb sandy beaches and dramatic headlands between Alvor and Portimão, including the much photographed beach at Praia da Rocha, one of the best in the Algarve.
The rock strata are particularly varied and very colourful, from white limestone to red sandstone. These different rocks support a wide variety of flora and, in spring, there are impressive displays of wild flowers. Hotel change.
Day 5 – Ponte da Piedade and Lagos
We continue our coastal theme with a spectacular walk starting from the small village and resort of Luz.
On this walk we follow a coastal path to Lagos, visiting on the way Ponta da Piedade where the famous sea caves are to be found and visited by many small boats carrying visitors from nearby Lagos.
The walk finishes in Lagos and we will have time to sightsee in this attractive town that was an important Roman settlement called ‘Lacobriga’. A variety of ancient Roman & medieval ruins remain, including the old slave market.
The town centre, which is enclosed within 5th century walls offers a modern and well equipped marina that dominates the sea front and the town is now firmly positioned as a centre for tourists from all over the world.
We have an opt out at Ponte de Piedade allowing people to have a little more time to sightsee in Lagos.
Day 6 – Barão De São João
We head back inland for a walk that takes in the villages of Barão de São João and Barão de São Miguel.
These charming, rural and peaceful villages are characterized by the typical white houses with a coloured border around the windows and doors.
This and the traditional Algarve chimneys demonstrate the many years of Moorish occupancy of the area.
We have an opt out at lunch time allowing people to relax and explore the fascinating village of Barão S. João.
Day 7 – Sagres and Cabo de São Vicente
Our final day on the western Algarve fittingly culminates in Sagres, the most westerly town in the Algarve.
This area of intensely dramatic cliffs, opening onto a vast horizon of sea and sky, was the last sight of Europe for the explorers setting forth on their fearsome voyages beyond the horizon.
We will also visit today the nearby Cabo de S. Vincente whose spectacular cliffs were once believed to be the end of the world.
Day 8 – Departure
At convenient time transfer to the Airport.
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